You may have heard that cooties are contagious but what about cavities? Well, the answer is a little tricky. Cavities are the small holes left after decay causes damage to the teeth. These holes can’t be spread to other teeth, but the bacteria that lead to cavities can definitely be spread — just like with other bacteria and germs. Here’s more information:
Cavities & Bacteria
Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus are the bacteria behind tooth decay. If you have this decay-causing bacteria on one tooth, it’s possible it could also settle in nearby teeth if the conditions are right.
This bacteria can also be spread from person to person in a number of ways, including through sharing food, using the same eating utensils, kissing, sneezing, and coughing. Even parents who are testing food before giving it to their baby risk passing on these bacteria.
But just because you receive this cavity-causing bacteria doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to develop a cavity right there and then. Other factors are at play when creating the perfect environment for a cavity to form. You can keep these bacteria in check and help avoid developing a cavity by taking certain precautions.
How to Prevent the Spread of Cavity-Causing Bacteria
So what are these precautions? Here are some of the main ones:
- Brush & floss your teeth regularly
- Visit the dentist for your routine check-ups
- Don’t share toothbrushes or utensils
- Eat more fiber to stimulate saliva flow
- Limit the amount of soda you drink & candy you eat
- Get fluoride treatments or sealants based on our dentists’ recommendations
Cavity Prevention at Oakboro Family Dentistry
If you need some help preventing or managing cavities, don’t be shy. Even with good dental hygiene, sometimes cavities still pop up. Give us a ring at Oakboro Family Dentistry. Our team of dental professionals will be happy to give you tips about at-home oral hygiene. Plus, we have lots of experience treating cavities.Contact Us